The Critically Endangered Hoge’s toadhead turtle is considered to be the most endangered species of turtle in Brazil.
The toad-headed turtles of the genus Mesoclemmys diverged from all other living turtles around 80 million years ago. This is around the same time humans last shared a common ancestor with our strange and distant relatives, the colugos!
Over the past three generations, this species has lost 60% of its subpopulations, resulting in a more than 80% reduction in the number of individuals.
This incredibly threatened turtle is being impacted by habitat degradation and either targeted or accidental killing in fisheries. It has one of the smallest ranges of all South American Chelid turtles, and is extremely poorly known.
The species is listed as Critically Endangered due to the ongoing significant decline in population. It has also been recognised as one of the world’s 25 most threatened turtles.
- Order: Testudines
- Family: Chelidae
- Population: Unknown
- Trend: decreasing
- Size: 38cm (?)
This species is found in Brazil in southern Minas Gerais and Espirito Santo. Records from Rio de Janeiro are doubtful, which includes the type locality.
Habitat and Ecology
This is a highly aquatic species that inhabits lakes and small rivers, with juveniles have been found in small streams. Mature females nest between January and April, producing clutches of 5-11 eggs.